Archive for November, 2012


Friday, November 9th, 2012

By Hetty Gray


November 9, 2012


I was reared to believe that I existed as part of something larger than myself and that I had a responsibility to contribute to the whole through my own effort. Whether membership in a family, a work staff, a profession, or a faith, each of us benefits from such alliances.

To that end, my generation (over 65) lived to the best of our abilities and saw to it that our churches and philanthropic work was channeled to those either unable to care for themselves or at risk for good health or life itself.

Such has been the work of American churches, synagogues, and organizations such as The Salvation Army (God bless them!) — plus countless fraternities, sororities, and service clubs.

I began politically active at age 12 when I rode my bicycle downtown and joined the Young Republicans. I walked off two pair of shoes as I carried a huge shopping bag house to house on behalf of Homer Capehart. I stuffed envelopes and sorted bumper stickers. If I had kept some of them, I would have amassed quite a collection by now!

My parents endured the Great Depression. They worked hard and saved their money. Both my brother and I held jobs from age 14 and held our own in the workplace. I worked and went to college at night and he began at a local factory and went on to found his own, very successful business as a manufacturer’s representative.

We began as members of our family. Our supper table was peppered with conversations that ranged from religion to economics. We knew when our parents could not afford something and we earned our own money for the extras so tantalizing to teenagers.

As adults, we stayed to the straight and narrow and respected those who earned more, but we never envied them. There is a difference. We noticed that and tried over the years to emulate that practice at a level we could afford.

We were brought up that the worst thing possible was to rely on what was known then as “the dole”, or government assistance. Beginning in the 1950s, the climate inched toward what we see today: nearly 50% of us receive some sort of government money.

The expansion of all means of public welfare for ever-growing numbers of Americans wreaked havoc on incentive and — in the process — pride and accomplishment died a slow, painful demise.

Not unlike an alcoholic, the “over-spenders” must hit bottom before any real turnaround can begin. We are in free fall. The only question is when we begin to se the bottom. It won’t be pretty, and the thought process that brought it about began early. It began not only in homes, but also in schools.

I taught in parochial schools as well as suburban township schools with substantial numbers of inner city students. One teen’s comment uttered during an all night “lock in” rings as a bell weather for what we just witnessed on Tuesday.

The hardest part of his day was getting to the bus stop without getting hurt. These were good kids, many of whom had a single parent working two or more jobs. Their parents’ dream was that life would hold more for their children than what they had experienced.

How many of these kids were stuck in under-performing, dangerous school situations? How many Einsteins, Jobs, or Lincolns are lost every year when the drop out rate spirals ever higher?

I know the difference between my mid-twentieth century education and that of today. History reigned supreme as the ultimate teacher and road map. If you do not know your history, you are doomed to repeat it?

Textbooks give history short shrift and the excuse is that there is too much to cover. Well, if that is the case, then you go to the core of history and highlight those elements that are seminal warnings for the future. I contend that one year of military history and one year of intense economics could change the course for our youth. If we don’t change the basics of our children’s education, we cannot turn back the tide that has swamped us.

While in graduate schools, I choked down blatant tenets of socialism expounded by professor after professor. True balance does not exist at the collegiate level. What was sown in the 1960s now rules. The concept of government as the answer is so engrained that it will take decades to correct if we can muster the strength to attack it at all.

I wonder if the rising college costs link directly to federal student loans. It would not surprise me. If students need to borrow more money, the government takes heed.

The fight is not over, folks. Instead, it is just begun. We must plant the seeds of real reform and go at the task with a zest few could envision as even possible. Nothing important happens quickly. It takes time, and now is the time for those of us who want to see the America of our youth.

Until we begin in pre-school to encourage incentive, entrepreneurship, effort and accomplishment, we will have seen America’s best days. For those of us with adult children and grandchildren, the specter of the Europe our forebears fled is more than we can bear. We go to bed at night feeling as if we have lived at the best time and that will not be possible for the younger set. That’s a sad commentary for a nation that has beckoned those with a will to achieve for over two centuries.

Consider the humble beaver. An unattractive animal, his dental work leaves a lot to be desired a beauty contest. Yet, his work ethic mirrors that of the socialists that constitute a huge number among our leadership. Chip by chip, tree bark flies and piles on the ground. The beaver smiles, even as the tree looms high above him and moves not. The chips decay over time, so the mass goes largely unnoticed. After untold hours of work, the mammoth tree cracks and falls. What once sheltered those beneath it lies in a heap robbed of its strength and its very life.

November 6 our tree fell. It wasn’t a pine or elm. Neither was it a maple or a fir. It was the tree of liberty. Will we plant another?


Billy Graham on the Vote

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren, and this great nation is crucial. As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God.

Billy Graham
Montreat North Carolina